A Marist Professor and Her Former Student Come Full Circle
Andrey Pavlov ’02/’03M tried to avoid taking Professor of Strategy Helen Rothberg’s class, but when his friends registered, so did he. Andrey figured it would be better to suffer through Professor Rothberg than to take his capstone course alone. That was nearly 16 years ago, and it was the spark of a magnificent and lasting friendship.
After completing his bachelor’s degree, Andrey was accepted into Marist’s MBA program, where he knew he would likely “suffer through Rothberg” again. At that point, according to Helen, Andrey came to her with a surprising request: “You shred our work to pieces and all we want to say afterward is ‘thank you.’ I want to learn how to do that.” She added, “How does one respond to that? There was nothing I could do but hire him to work with me on a project.”
After receiving his MBA, Andrey went back to his hometown of Moscow and worked in finance for a time. When Helen’s conference travels would bring her to Europe, Andrey would fly in for a day or two to share some cheese, good brandy, and great conversation.
According to Professor Rothberg, “At one such conference, a colleague asked me for a nomination to a competitive Ph.D. fellowship at Cranfield University outside of London. Of course, my first thought was Andrey, whom I thought had earned the opportunity.” He was accepted into the doctoral program. In 2010, Andrey defended his dissertation and became Dr. Pavlov, teaching strategy and performance management in the Executive and traditional MBA programs at Cranfield School of Management – one of Europe’s top 20 business schools. His excellent teaching, research, and publications have secured his place there as a Senior Lecturer (the equivalent of Associate Professor).
Andrey had read many versions of Helen’s book The Perfect Mix: Everything I Know about Leadership I Learned as a Bartender, and when he heard that she would be a keynote speaker at the European Community Management Leadership and Government Conference in London this past December, he invited her to Cranfield to speak to his students. Professor Rothberg considered it an honor: “I was emotional walking into his office. Here was the desk, the articles, the artifacts of my former student, the well-regarded professor, the wonderful friend, sharing his expertise, his accomplishments with me. I felt like, wow, the circle is now complete. In retrospect, maybe Andrey didn’t suffer too badly in my class after all!”
Located on the banks of the historic Hudson River and at its Florence, Italy branch campus, Marist College is a comprehensive, independent institution grounded in the liberal arts. Its mission is to “help students develop the intellect, character, and skills required for enlightened, ethical, and productive lives in the global community of the 21st century.” Marist is consistently recognized for excellence by The Princeton Review (Colleges That Create Futures and The Best 381 Colleges), U.S. News & World Report (9th Best Regional University/North), Kiplinger’s Personal Finance (“Best College Values”), and others. Though now independent, Marist remains committed to the ideals handed down from its founders, the Marist Brothers: excellence in education, a sense of community, and a commitment to service. Marist educates approximately 5,000 traditional-age undergraduate students and 1,400 adult and graduate students in 47 undergraduate majors and 14 graduate programs, including fully online MBA, MPA, MS, and MA degrees. www.marist.edu